Attorneys for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are firing back against what they say is a frivolous lawsuit that amounts to extortion. Jana Weckerly, a 27-year-old Oklahoma woman, filed suit against Jones and the team on September 8 for an alleged sexual assault in 2009.
Judge Gena Slaughter had previously agreed to seal records in the case, but Judge Dale Tillery vacated that on September 10. The judge also issued a gag order in the case, barring attorneys from speaking to the media.
Levi McCathern II, lead attorney for Jones and the Cowboys, has filed a motion arguing that Weckerly and her attorney, Thomas Bowers, are pursuing false claims that are outside the statute of limitations.
"Mr. Jones is not and will never offer any money to Ms. Weckerly for the allegations contained in the petition," attorney Levi McCathern wrote in a sworn affidavit.
"[Bowers] has proceeded willfully and in bad faith with filing suit in order to leverage the publicity of the claims to extort a settlement," the filing reads.
Weckerly alleges that she photographed Jones in an undisclosed Dallas hotel's bathroom in 2009. During this incident, Weckerly claims that Jones penetrated her with his fingers, groped her breasts and buttocks, and rubbed his penis on her.
Weckerly is seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
To support his extortion theory, McCathern attached a series of emails between himself and Bowers prior to the lawsuit being filed. The emails date back to September 5.
"It is true that Jana Weckerly took the photographs and that she took them in 2009. Beyond that virtually every other statement of fact in your press release and your proposed lawsuit regarding what happened is untrue," McCathern wrote on September 6. "There is proof of the falsity of these allegations. Ms. Weckerly is certainly aware of the evidence to which I am referring."
In a sworn affidavit, McCathern stated he also exchanged text messages and phone calls with Bowers in which Bowers asked "what Mr. Jones was willing to do to resolve this matter."
"I responded, in no uncertain terms, that Mr. Jones is not and will never offer any money to Ms. Weckerly for the allegations contained in the petition," McCathern wrote.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for noon on September 26.